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Soil conservation through agroforestry: experience from four years of demonstrations at Machakos, Kenya

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In the technique of trees on grass strips, Grevillea robusta, Cassia siamea and Leucaena leucocephala grew successfully, but it is essential to protect young trees from grass competition. In the bench terraces, Cassia siamea, Gliricidia sepium and Leucaena leucocephala were planted alternately on top and below the banks. In the fanya juu structures, 8 species of fruit trees planted in the ditches grew well for the dry climate (a form of sunken planting). In all the above techniques, progressive natural terrace development occurred, demonstrated by surveyed transects. Recurrent off-peak labour is necessary to branch-prune trees and prevent lateral spread of grass. In the contour-aligned hedgerow-intercropping plot, single rows of Leucaena leucocephala were established at a spacing of 4 m horizontal, 0.6 m vertical and within-row spacing 25 cm. This checked soil movement, as shown by natural development of terraces of 50 cm high, with risers stabilized by Leucaena stems and roots.
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    Kiepe P; Young A




    agroforestry, alley cropping, gliricidia sepium, grevillea robusta, leucaena leucocephala, senna siamea, soil conservation, technology



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